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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 22, 2011 1:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: improv style, jazz vs. classical, drama

One way you could look at it is that this performances like this ( in this case Playing and its jam ), is a sort of "movement" in a classical work,that happens to be relative uniform . As you know, not all classical movements are musically "narrative," or especially developmental . So the dynamic,musical, and emotional, contrasts come within the context of the set, or show, and not always within the separate "song," in some cases . Like you, I tend to favor the performances that have a musical "story," dynamics, events , etc., but I can also enjoy a move static sort of jam .
Also, coming where the Dead did in musical history,classical musiic , in the 60's was exposed the influence of jazz, various "world" musics, Medieval, and Renaissance church music . An example would be the "minimalist" composers like Reich, Glass, Young, etc.;so there were examples of modern classical music that were/are not developmental, in the the way a Haydn, Beethoven,or Mahler piece , might be . Does this make any sense ?
In the context of this rather lackluster, but ok show, this dive into a quaret hour of jellyfish-land was unexpected and fun .

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 22, 2011 1:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: improv style, jazz vs. classical, drama

Good points! There is definitely a lot more nuance and complexity involved than I was able to state in my post.

You can actually hear a lot of the changes in musical style at the beginning of the 20th century as a reaction against the dramatic and developmental style. There is an anecdote about Debussy walking out of a concert of music by some Serious German composer in the middle and stage-whispering to his companion, "Let's go. He's starting to develop." - the implication being that the techniques of thematic development used in the middle section of a sonata-form work were stereotypical and boring.

I also agree that musical styles like minimalism, neotraditional ethnic, electronic music, aleatory and chance music of various kinds were also very present in the 1960s and had a role in shaping the GD approach, and none of these musics are based on narrative drama.